Despite my beat as a beauty editor, I've always been just as fascinated with the world of wellness. And in the past few years especially, the two industries have really converged. As our culture becomes more in tune with the idea of a holistic, all-encompassing approach to health and happiness, there's been a dramatic increase in product launches targeting everything but the kitchen sink in terms of internal and external perks alike. Not only will a berry-flavored vitamin gummy deliver your daily dose of vitamin D or every probiotic strain under the sun, but it will also give you Rapunzel-length hair and make your skin glow (supposedly).
There's also been a sharp uptick in nontoxic beauty formulations, which not only impart a dewy flash of highlight but are also touted to transform us into healthier consumers thanks to their lack of unnatural ingredients. Don't get me wrong—I'm incredibly happy the wellness and beauty industries have united in an effort to help us feel more beautiful inside and out, but let's be honest. It's also the perfect opportunity for brands to prey on our insecurities and worries as humans. What's more, it can be difficult to weed out which brands are truly legit and which brands are simply trying to ride the bandwagon of whatever the latest popular beauty or wellness trend is. I don't have to tell you this. You're a smart consumer, and I'm sure you've noticed this yourself.
If you had looked in my pantry a couple of years ago, you would have seen a collection of wellness products—powders, capsules, tinctures, gummies, and more—suitable to qualify me for an episode of Hoarders. For years, I bought into whatever a brand told me their product could do for me. Until, that is, I realized nothing was actually working. Or, at least, almost nothing was working. My skin hadn't dramatically cleared thanks to the latest collagen powder, nor had my daily energy levels surged thanks to whatever adaptogenic capsules I popped throughout the day. What I did notice, however, was the very scary state of my bank account and the dwindling space in my pantry cupboards—not ideal.
So I did a deep cleanse. I halted my automatic refills, donated unopened products I knew I didn't need, and I stopped taking the elixirs and concoctions I truly didn't feel were serving my wellness or beauty goals. Sakara Life was one of the few brands that managed to weather (very valiantly, I might add) my hurricane-level cleanout.
I've been a devout believer in Sakara—both its mission and its amazing array of plant-based products—since I tried its two-week-long plant-based challenge (which I wrote about here!) a couple of years back and experienced a wellness (and beauty!) epiphany. By making just a few key tweaks to my diet the Sakara way, I noticed glaring differences in my overall well-being. Basically, what I noticed while leading the Sakara lifestyle was what I had failed to notice while dabbling in so many other wellness trends, brands, or products. It worked, and it was also sustainable.
Last fall, I tried and reviewed one of the brand's newest product launches, the Metabolism Super Powder ($45), and had great results, so I was excited to start the New Year by adding another one of its powders to my daily beauty and wellness regimen. Enter Sakara Life's Super Powder ($45)—the brand's all-in-one daily nutritional supplement that's an exciting plant-based collagen and protein powder alternative.
Below, I'll be explaining more about what the powder is and what it does, how I incorporated it into my diet, and the actual benefits I noticed after drinking it daily for almost 30 days straight. Keep scrolling!
The Claims & Ingredients
As Sakara explains on its website, there's a lot to love about the Super Powder ($45), but as someone who drinks a protein powder–laced smoothie daily, I've been around the block in terms of product trials and have tested pretty much every plant-based protein powder formula on the market. Spoiler: Most of the time, I'm disappointed. They either taste like a shot of wheatgrass or are overly sweetened with sugar alternatives like stevia or monk fruit and far too saccharine for my taste.
According to the brand, the Super Powder is an all-in-one nutrition supplement featuring 12 grams of plant protein from organic, whole-food sources only. (No dairy or soy here, folks!) Additionally, there's only one gram of sugar per serving (which comes from coconut sugar), and the brand's experts say the strategic blend of plant protein (from whole pea, hemp, sesame, and pumpkin seeds), daily greens (from alkalizing grasses and algae), its trademarked Ceramosides Phytoceramides, digestive enzymes, B12, and L-theanine can help increase energy and skin glow while decreasing common conundrums like bloating.
"Most collagen powders on the market are made from ground animal bones with unknown origins," the brand shares on its website. "We wanted to make a plant-based alternative we could trust. This powder contains phytoceramides—100% plant-based, gluten-free skin enhancers derived from wheat that improve skin by boosting collagen production, restoring the body’s natural lipids, maintaining the skin barrier, maximizing cellular hydration."
How I Used It
As I mentioned earlier, I'm pretty obsessed with my morning smoothie ritual and always include some form of plant-based protein powder within my recipe. Before trying Sakara's Super Powder, I'd been rotating whatever brands I could find on sale at Whole Foods but had yet to find a mix I was truly satisfied with.
I opted for the full 30-day-supply package of Sakara's Super Powder (the brand also sells the formula in handy single-serving, travel-friendly sachets) and simply added a full scoop in with my normal mix of smoothie ingredients—almond milk, cinnamon, frozen spinach, ice, bee pollen, and a little bit of frozen banana.
Now, I'll be honest and say that initially, I didn't think I was a fan. For one, the taste was a bit greener and earthier than I was expecting (again, there's only one gram of sugar!), and whereas my normal smoothie would keep me full until lunchtime, I found I was hungry within a couple of hours after slurping down my Super Powder. This was probably due to the fact that Sakara's formula has 12 grams of plant protein compared to the 20 or even 30 grams that my other powders supplied.
However, I was not deterred! Aside from being a bit hungrier than I was used to, I felt great and definitely less bloated, so I simply began tweaking my recipe. I added some healthy fats in the form of almond butter or avocado to help with satiety, increased to a scoop and a half of the Super Powder for a little more protein, and also played around with adding more cinnamon, some vanilla extract, or manuka honey for a touch more sweetness to offset the fresh, grassier flavor.
Lo and behold, after a few days, I noticed my morning smoothies kept me full until 1 or even 2 p.m., and I barely noticed the fresh, grassy taste. Heck, I even began to prefer the earthier flavor over the super-sweet powders I'd been using before.
The Benefits I Noticed
First, I have to begin by making the obvious disclaimer that just because I had success with this product or noticed certain benefits doesn't necessarily mean you'll have the same experience. We all have different dietary needs and bodies, which can impact the results we see or how much we like a product. That said, I truly believe in the high quality of everything Sakara produces, and I feel confident recommending the Super Powder to anyone who is looking for a multifunctioning wellness product to add to their arsenal. For me, the biggest changes I noticed were in my skin, my appetite and cravings, and the way that my jeans fit.
Even though I don't think I lost any weight (that wasn't my goal to start with), I definitely felt like my stomach was much flatter and slower to irritate while drinking the Super Powder each morning. I'm sure this is due to the digestive enzyme blend, which isn't surprising to me since digestive enzymes (from another brand) were one of the few products that also managed to make it through that wellness-product exodus I mentioned earlier. I loved that I could reap the same benefits in my morning smoothie concoction without having to pop my other digestive enzyme capsules throughout the day. (I'm all for killing multiple wellness birds with one stone!)
Also, I noticed a significant decrease in my craving for sweets—a perk I also noticed while regularly sipping on the brand's Metabolism Super Powder. Usually, I start to ache for something sugary around 2 or 3 p.m., right around the same time my brain starts to crash after a day of writing, but I barely thought about the dark chocolate bars or peanut butter cups I have stashed in my desk drawers for sugar emergencies. In fact, I felt like my appetite had lessened. I didn't feel like I needed lunch until later in the afternoon, and then lunch held me over well until dinner or, at the very least, until I could grab a snack that wasn't super sugary. Honestly, it was a relief to have that panicky sense of hunger or sugar cravings put to rest. So, thank you for that, Sakara!
Last but not least, I felt like my skin definitely started to look brighter and clearer. Of course, it's hard to say whether this was just random, an effect of my skincare routine, or truly a result of Sakara's Super Powder, but I don't think it was a coincidence. As I mentioned, the Super Powder is made of only organic, whole-food sources without potential allergens or acne-aggravators like dairy or soy. Also, it barely has any sugar or sugar alternatives, and sometimes I wonder if the saccharine sweetness from stevia or monk fruit in other powders I've used has contributed to my acne-prone skin. Of course, I was also grabbing fewer craving-induced snacks, which might have contributed to fewer breakouts as well. Regardless, I was super happy with my results and experience testing Sakara's Super Powder, and I plan on adding it to my always-growing collection of Sakara favorites.
Keep reading for the other Sakara products I always have on hand.
Featuring Cermamosides Phytoceramides (plant-based ceramides clinically proven to boost your glow), antioxidant-rich dark cacao, and low-glycemic sweetener coconut sugar, these are another tasty option to conquer sugar cravings while also contributing to a radiant glow.
Seriously, these are the only probiotics I've ever taken that haven't left me feeling bloated or lethargic. I love that they have both enzymes and probiotics (essential for nutrient breakdown) plus the added benefits of prebiotic fiber to make sure my gut has everything it needs. I take one capsule 30 minutes before breakfast and dinner.
Before bed every night, I put three droppers-full of this chlorophyll concentrate into a glass of water and chug. Chlorophyll is an amazing detoxifier, and I'm convinced it's helped clear my skin and also help me feel less bloated when I wake up the next morning. These drops are an essential part of my nighttime routine, and I make sure I bring them with me when I travel.
I'm a little bit addicted to these clean protein bars, but I don't even care because of how amazing the ingredients are. (Shout-out to the newest kid on the black—a hot-pink Beauty Bar that's literally my favorite thing to eat right now.) The Energy Bars are filled with cacao for a bump of energy during those stubborn mid-afternoon slumps, and the Detox Bars (vanilla- and cashew-flavored) are the perfect solution for sweet tooth cravings or when I need a filling, low-sugar snack to tide me over in between meals or after a workout. You can buy each of the bars in separate packs, but since I love all three, I'm a fan of this epic collection of all three.
My favorite tea on Earth! I drink a few cups of coffee each morning, so I don't want anything else that's caffeinated after 2 p.m. This lovely mix of red rooibos, rose, and lemongrass aids digestion, helps detoxify, staves off cravings, and supports the adrenals—all things I'm after. Plus, it tastes dreamy and is especially comforting mid-afternoon or pre-bed. I love having it after lunch and dinner as a healthier nightcap.